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New NZ printing contracts boost APN

Friday, 31 October 2003
By Print21

The contract win to print the New Zealand national pay TV magazine Skywatch from December this year is a major win for APN’s commercial print operations. Reporting good forward print contracts leading into the busy pre-Christmas period the company is confident these developments will offset the weakening NZ dollar will have on its earnings.

In a presentation to fund managers in New Zealand the company reported that The New Zealand Herald continues to perform above expectations, with double-digit revenue growth throughout the third quarter. Advertising volumes increased by 9.7% over the same period a year ago. Retail and national advertising led the growth despite a fall in circulation for the six months to September of 1.8%. This has spurred the company to launch a number of initiatives to get the circulation back up and it reports that current figures are 2000 copies ahead of last year, averaging more than 208,000 per day.

The same growth in advertising is seen in the company’s regional newspapers in Australia where volume increased by 5.1%. Doubt remains over whether the company will restructure or sell its outdoor advertising business, Australian Posters. It is currently conducting a review to assess its future.

The company is the object of intense interest from all major web press manufacturers as it looks around for a new press line at its Sunshine Coast plant.

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